Even the most ardent dishwasher owner, is going to experience at which their appliance starts to smell. Fixing a smelly dishwasher can be approached in several ways. Prevention and cure. Most appliances that process water or use it as part of a cleaning process will eventually develop a problem with unpleasant smells. Unfortunately ignoring the problem will not make it any better. It is in fact more likely to make the problem worse.
Preventing a smelly dishwasher
Running your dishwasher on an empty hot cycle from time to time, will help to dislodge any pieces of debris that have become stuck in the pipes and drain hoses. Regularly using a reputable limescale remover will remove limescale as it forms preventing narrowing or blockages of internal pipes and hoses. When the internal pipes and hoses are kept clear of limescale, waste debris from food and soap suds can escape easily and will be flushed out during a routine cleaning process.
Ensure that the drainage pipes and the installation of drainage systems are correctly installed. Something as simple as the drainage pipes being installed at the wrong angle can create problems within the appliance. If you have already used all the tips and tricks mentioned below and the dishwasher still smells, check drainage. It is possible that an incorrect installation of the drainage pipe can lead to the dirty drain water re-entering the appliance. Simply reinstalling the pipe can resolve the problem entirely.
Of course, you can also ensure that this is less likely to happen by rinsing the dishing before you put them into the machine. Doing this will dislodge the largest pieces of food particles that are most likely to get caught up in the interior of your dishwasher.
Curing a smelly dishwasher
The most common cause of unpleasant odours coming from a dishwasher are twofold. Firstly, food debris that has become lodged in the system. Secondly a build-up of soap and scum depending on the hardness of the local water. In both these cases breaking the lodged food particles and the hardened soapy scum is the best solution. While this can be done using a proprietary solution, most people prefer to use an environmentally friendly home remedy.
Most dishwashers have filters either located in the bottom of in the door. Clearing these after every wash is the first port of call. However, should you become aware of a rather nasty odour, clean and where possible remove these filters to ensure there are no other underlying blockages in their housing. Drain filters capture food and scum particles and will over time become the breeding ground for the worst smelling bacteria that you can imagine.
Procced by cleaning out the interior of the dishwasher. Remove the racks and any other removable parts that can be easily returned to their place. This will not only speed up the process but also prevent difficulty in getting into those awkward spots. By cleaning away grime that has accumulated along the interior and the door seals you will prevent it from eventually breaking away and causing severe blockages. This will pre-empt any potential mechanical breakdowns.
Once you have cleaned the door gasket and the rest of the machine, prepare it for a wash using an eco-friendly solution.
Traditional solutions work best
Perhaps the most popular age old solution to treating a smelly dishwasher is the white vinegar and bicarb of soda solution. However, with a dishwasher do not mix the two ingredients. First, place a cup of white vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on one full cycle. The acids within the vinegar will help to break down pieces of debris in places that you have been unable to reach.
Once you have done this, sprinkle a cup of bicarbonate of soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run a rinse cycle. Run a short cycle again. This should clear the bicarbonate of soda through the system. Your dishwasher will smell noticeably better.
If you have checked the drainage hose and run either or both a proprietary cleaning or natural cleaning solution; and you still find that the machine smells unbearably, then it may be time to call a qualified engineer.
A qualified engineer will be able to open the machine and identify where the problem is coming from. It could even be a leaky sump that requires replacement. Our technicians and engineers are constantly trained and kept up to date with different dishwasher technologies. This means that when you can’t find the problem, we will.
For more information, please have a look at our dishwasher service page.